Fanning Software Consulting

LINUX Programs Running Slow

QUESTION: I have an IDL program that allows the user to rotate and scale a 3D mesh interactively. It is running well on my Windows machine. However, it becomes extremely slow on my LINUX machine. It is almost useless, even with OpenGL hardware acceleration turned on. Can I speed this program up?

ANSWER: If you search the IDL newsgroup archives (comp.lang.idl-pvwave) you will discover all kinds of advice about this. It will range from upgrading and/or tuning up your graphics drivers to fervent prayer. You will even find testimonials from people who monkeyed around for a week or two and finally got things running blazingly fast.

But the truth is, OpenGL acceleration has never been supported on LINUX machines until IDL 5.6. If you have versions of IDL older than that, you can spend big bucks on and tinker with your graphics drivers all you like, but everything is still being done in software. :-)

Web Coyote's Guide to IDL Programming